Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit. – Aristotle
The more I experience the game of life, the more wise I am in determining who is a friend and who is an acquaintance. Being able to distinguish the difference between these kinds of relationships has made me much more content with the balance in my life. In recent years I have seen people whom I thought were good friends turn out to be just acquaintances. This hurt, but really, why should it hurt? I had placed a false expectation of friendship. It was my fault that I was hurt, not theirs. So why should I shun them? Life will always give me more acquaintances and chances at friendship. Things happen, people change, that’s life. But I can’t give up seeking a good friend.
In an age where social media keeps us in contact with people we consider friends, it can be quite easy to dismiss people from our lives that we had believed at one time were very close. Being able to readily view people’s everyday story dilutes the need to keep in touch on a personal level. It is easy to cast people out of our timelines if we do not value their company, yet we can still send signals that we care by giving a “like” on Facebook once in awhile.
Before social media, we would have to put more effort and time into maintaining a quality friendship. It was difficult to keep a large quantity of these close relationships as they would each take time. We grew to appreciate those few people who would go out of their way to help us out and give us their time at will. When we didn’t hear from a friend after a while, we would take the time to check-in and find out what is going on. In our “new” social network driven friendship circles, we are tricked into believing that we have more good friends than we really do just because we get that elusive “like” or quick comment from them once in awhile. In reality though, most of these folks are just passing through. Our perception of belonging has come down to the amount of likes we get and not necessarily who we get them from and why.
When I began to believe that Facebook was falsifying my idea of friendship, I decided to shun the social network altogether. Since our world is so connected online, my choice to delete my Facebook account was not a wise one. I found I wasn’t able to effectively communicate with those whom I wanted in my life. I had to find a balance. I needed to change my mindset in deciphering who was really my friend and who was just an acquaintance. After some time, I realized that I could count my good friends on two hands. Was it sobering? yes! Don’t get me wrong, I very much appreciate everyone in my life, but once I knew who truly wants to spend their valuable time with me and those who I wanted to spend time with, I felt that genuine value that comes with true friendship.
I have found comfort in realizing that in life it is the quality of the friends you have and not the quantity of acquaintances. I can rest knowing that acquaintances will come and go, but real friendship will last forever (wow does that ever sound like a cheesy jewelry store commercial). When you can feel at ease while catching up with a friend that you haven’t spoken to in awhile, then you know you have a real friend. A real friend seeks out to spend quality time with you, an acquaintance just “likes” the Facebook status that comes from that. I am perfectly fine with that balance.
763 / 1000 KMs walked | 35 / 50 blog posts |
13 / 10 books read